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A collector’s eye: OSPAAAL posters

14 February 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Mike Tyler is the collector and architect who owns the striking array of 32 OSPAAAL posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike what he looks for when adding to the collection:    

 

“The bulk of my collection dates from OSPAAAL’s founding in 1966 to the mid 70’s, which is referred to as the ‘Golden Period’ of Cuban poster art. It is no coincidence this was a time of great political and social unrest with the civil rights movement, Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and struggles against apartheid all providing fuel to creative fire.

“Many collectors are interested in the politics whilst some have an affinity with Cuba. For me, the appeal is their artistic merit, which has long been revered in the world of both propaganda art and graphic design. In terms of desirability, there is a big collectors market for civil rights and Black power material so these posters command the highest demand. Posters featuring Che, Nixon or the more well know conflicts such as the Vietnam War have a broader appeal. Then you have the more renowned artists such as Alfredo Rostgaard, Rene Menderos, Jesus Forjans & Faustino Perez who created some of the most iconic posters.

Day of Solidarity with the Congo, 1972 by Alfrédo Juan González Rostgaard. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

“In terms of the actual posters, given they are paper and were designed to put up on walls, that means stains, tears, holes etc are to be expected. Considering their age, the fact they even exist is impressive but for the serious collectors condition is important.  Provided they aren’t too bad, I don’t mind a few scars as they show they have been used as intended. The posters were issued folded within Tricontinental magazine so for me fold-lines are a good thing as it implies they are originals rather than later print runs.

“I also like to know a little about the person who owned the posters before me. To date I’ve dealt with musicians, activists, curators, journalists, TV presenters, antique book dealers and even the artists themselves. It all adds to their story.”

Don’t miss Mike’s free talk on 17 February about his poster collection at the International Slavery Museum, part of our series of free events planned throughout the Art of Solidarity exhibition.

Mike Tyler- Why I started collecting solidarity posters

25 January 2017 by Sarah

Tricontinental Conference – 3rd Anniversary, 1969 by Alfredo Juan Gonzalez Rostgaard. Copyright: Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive.

Mike Tyler is the architect and collector who owns the fantastic array of 32 posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike how and why he started collecting these Cuban posters, designed to support freedom movements around the world:    

“I’m often asked why I started collecting Cuban posters and the truth is, it kind of just happened. As a visual person I’m drawn to design, graphics, photography, street art etc, so when I first stumbled across a batch of these posters, I could see they were something special.  Read more…

Curator’s view: Art of Solidarity

13 January 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Today we are pleased to open our new exhibition at the International Slavery Museum, ‘Art of Solidarity: Cuban posters for African liberation 1967 – 1989’. We asked curator Stephen Carl-Lokko to tell us what to expect:  Read more…

Don’t get scammed this season

5 December 2016 by Sarah

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

The displays in the Seized! gallery in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum highlight the issue of fake goods, or counterfeits.

These images show some recent counterfeit goods from our collection. They may look like things you’d want to receive as a Christmas present, or buy for a gift – but don’t be fooled!

For every genuine item that exists there is a counterfeited replica, as soon as a ‘new’ item enters the market the counterfeiters are never far behind to cash in on the products that we desire. Counterfeiters have no limits; they span all industries including clothing, electronics and toiletries.

Counterfeit items constantly change to reflect contemporary trends so it’s important to us that these changes and trends are documented through our display cases and our handling collection. Read more…

Hot off the Press: Black Panther Newspapers arrive at the International Slavery Museum

31 October 2016 by Sarah

One of the newspaper issues.

One of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service newspaper issues. Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

October is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party and Black History Month in the UK. So, what better time to announce our acquisition of twenty one copies of the ‘Black Panther Intercommunal News Service’ than today?  Read more…

Spotlight on: Slavery Remembrance Day

27 October 2016 by Sarah

The Libation ceremony

The Libation ceremony

National Museums Liverpool is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and we are also in Black History Month for the UK.

So in today’s blog, we’re taking a special look at Slavery Remembrance Day, which falls on 23 August. Read more…

Jon Daniel’s supa family reunions

25 October 2016 by Sarah

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. That’s Jon, on the right! Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Jon Daniel, whose collection features in our Afro Supa Hero exhibition, blogs about his earliest memories of family reunions and Bajan heritage for Black History Month, and ahead of the 50th anniversary of independence for Barbados on 30 November. He introduces a very special author too – his Aunty Jean. Jon says: Read more…

Photos from Slavery Remembrance Day 2016

21 October 2016 by Sarah

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum and Akala on the steps of the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building.

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum and Akala on the steps of the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr building. Courtesy of Dave Jones Photography

Almost 9,000 of you visited the International Slavery Museum, part of National Museums Liverpool, in the week of Slavery Remembrance Day this year. Read more…

Anti-Slavery Day and the #JustTell10 Campaign

17 October 2016 by Sarah

Courtesy of Dalit Freedom Network

Courtesy of Dalit Freedom Network

Ahead of Anti-Slavery Day (18 October), author David Skivington tells us in the blog why he’s using his new novel, ‘Blessed, Bound and Broken’ and the #JustTell10 campaign, to raise awareness of the Jogini system in which Dalit women and girls are forced into ritual sex slavery today, in modern India. This is explored in our current exhibition, Broken Lives,  in partnership with the Dalit Freedom Network. David writes: Read more…

“Unbought and unbossed” – Shirley Chisholm for President.

12 October 2016 by Sarah

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas-ed. Sam Durant. Rizzoli, 2007.

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. Ed. Sam Durant. Rizzoli, 2007.

Today’s blog by Dyana Saad is about Shirley Chisholm, the first African American and first woman to run for presidency. She was endorsed by the Black Panther Party. But not many people know of her. During October, which is both Black History Month and marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we share her history. Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.